Here is an essay I wrote back in 2000, before I came clean with my wife and family.  I had plenty of knowledge, but wasn’t living by it:

1John 2:16 says “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world.” These are three destroyers that may overwhelm the human spirit. The lust of the eyes is a destroyer of spiritual relationship, taking one’s eyes off the appropriate target (God, one’s wife, a God-given job, God’s provision) and stirring up discontentment (Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s goods). Jesus makes it clear in Matthew 5:28 that “whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart”, thus destroying the spiritual relationship with his wife and God.

The lust of the flesh is a destroyer of physical relationships. It pollutes what 1Corinthians 6:19 calls “the temple of the Holy Ghost”. Abuse of the body through drugs or gluttony or fornication reduces the mere physical ability to serve the Lord. Of the marriage relationship, Mark 10:8 says “And they twain shall be one flesh.” Adultery and fornication introduce multiple persons into that one flesh, detracting forever from the marriage relationship ordained by God. While I do not believe a Christian can be possessed by a demon, I do think that indulging the lust of the flesh invites the presence of demons and their influence.

The pride of life is a destroyer of self, putting oneself on a level higher than that ordained by God. One cannot be prideful and also be a true servant, because a servant must not put self first. In John13:14 Jesus set the example and told his apostles, “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; ye also ought to wash one another’s feet.” Too often we are captivated instead by Satan’s sin, “”: For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north:” as he says in Isaiah 14:13. When we suffer from this “I” disease, we must be cast down and broken before being built back up by God into the Christians we are meant to be – extremely painful, but necessary.

All three – the lust of the eyes, lust of the flesh, and the pride of life – are rooted in selfishness. To break free, we must be true Christians (“little Christs”), and live as selflessly as the God/man we model ourselves after.

The other side of the coin is man’s spirit, which must be properly fed to withstand these attacks of the flesh. Genesis 1:26 says “And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness”, while John 4:24 says “God is a Spirit: and they that worship him must worship him in spirit and in truth.” Thus our spirit is the portion of man created in God’s image, designed for worship and fellowship with Him.

Diligent study of God’s Word (either the written word or in the person of Jesus Christ – John 1:1) is required to learn how God would have us live. 2Timothy 3:16 says “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness.” Action is useless if it is for the wrong reasons, and the Word teaches us what should truly motivate the spirit – love.

John 16:3 tells us “Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth.” The Spirit of God is sent to come alongside us to lend guidance in our daily Christian life. The Holy Spirit is the “still small voice” mentioned in 1Kings 19:12 which speaks directly to one’s own spirit giving direction, motivation, and adding strength to the desire to perform God’s will. Without the Holy Spirit, the “Spirit of wisdom and of understanding” (Isaiah 11:2) it is impossible to correctly understand God’s Word.

The spirit within feeds itself and builds defenses against the attacks on the flesh by lust and pride. A spirit which is well-fed by God’s Word and in tune with the Holy Spirit will be robust, filling the heart and pushing aside the influences of carnal man. Galatians 6:8 – “The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” A poorly fed spirit will be small and weak, easily succumbing to the worldly influences within and without. Let us all pray to be filled with wisdom and the Holy Spirit, the better to serve God and reflect His image to all men!


OPEN, BROKEN, FREE – the three words used to best describe WIT! Singles, Four Days to Freedom, and the Whatever It Takes! Ministries in general, all started through the awesome willingness of Paul and Jenny Speed to share their testimony with the world.

In a nutshell:

OPEN: Baring the utter depths of your sinful soul to the people closest to you.  As a married person, that means your husband or wife and children.  As a single that means your parents or the main authorities in your life.  It also means going to each person you have offended by your sin, to the best of your ability, and asking his or her forgiveness. There’s a lot more to it, but that’s the basic premise.

BROKEN: Taking full responsibility for your sin and the damage it has caused – no matter what, no matter how long, no matter how much it hurts.  When I first “came clean” with my wife, family, authorities, and people affected by my sin, I looked like a really good guy and received a lot of praise for my willingness to be open and ask forgiveness.  I wasn’t even close to being truly broken, and sank back down into hidden sin within months of confessing all.  It took getting caught again and Jenny Speed speaking the stark truth into my life before I really started on the path to brokenness.  Being truly broken means doing God’s will and not your own, through the power of His grace.  Again, lots more to it, but that’s a start.

FREE: The glorious realization that I am no longer held in bondage by Satan because there is no longer any hidden sin in my life.  Satan has absolutely no hook in me.  What is he going to say?  “If you don’t do what I say, I’ll tell your wife your deepest, darkest, most hideous sin…”  My response?  “Too late, Satan – I already told her!”  How about, “I’ll tell your friends and co-workers what a rotten person you really are.”  “Go ahead, Satan – I’ve already told most of them, and I really don’t care who knows.  It will give me an opportunity to share the freedom I have in Jesus Christ.”  True freedom is precious, beautiful, and wonderful!  I can ask my wife for prayer at any time for anything, and she will battle with me rather than condemning me, because she trusts me.  How many people can say that?!?

OPEN, BROKEN, FREE – the only way to live!

May the Peace and Love of Christ fill your life,



I just got Siri to work on my iPhone 3GS.  One of the first questions I asked was, “How do I achieve true brokenness?”  The response? “Let me think…How about a web search for ‘How do I achieve true brokenness?’”


Calling all singles

If you are single, you need to attend this conference…

WIT! Singles

Singles Conference Overview

A Life-Changing Conference for Singles!

During the past several years, Paul and Jenny have had the joy of speaking to thousands of young people across America. They have watched as many of these same young people find “Mr.” or “Miss Perfect”, but are soon sitting before them in tears, disbelief, and hurt. They are searching for answers to issues they are facing in their marriage that they never expected to encounter. As the Speeds began to counsel these young couples, they thought of how much heartache and damage could have been avoided if only these couples had learned certain truths BEFORE they married and not after. Thus, the idea of “WIT for Singles” was born!

“Whatever It Takes!” Singles Conference promises to be a life-changing, world-altering weekend! We will dig deep into our hearts and souls to expose all the hidden lies and strongholds that have kept us from becoming the person God has created us to be. The goal of this conference is to help you identify the areas of your life that need God’s wisdom and understanding applied to them. Not only will it prepare you for marriage, but it will prepare you for Life! You, by the grace of God, will never be the same!

Conference topics include:

  • Love God, Live Life!
  • Openness and brokenness
  • Exposing lies that shape your thinking
  • So, who is your “real” enemy?
  • How to throw your bags overboard!
  • Hanging on when you should be letting go!
  • Moral purity in an immoral world
  • How do you find Mr. or Mrs. Right when everything is wrong?
  • …and much more!

Attendees must be 18 years of age or older.

This is from three years ago after the WIT! Singles conference in Indianapolis. I love what Sara has to say!

DSC_0005Wow – what a weekend! I’m tired and drained! In some respects, I wish I can say that the three day single’s conference in Indianapolis was filled with praise and encouragement and joy alone but it wasn’t. Now please don’t get me wrong, it was an encouragement to my heart and soul but God used it in a whole different way than I would have ever anticipated.

We arrived Thursday afternoon after a great time of fellowship in the car with a few friends. We sang, talked, laughed, shared a good meal, and even made a stop at a dairy farm for some homemade ice cream. That was an experience! While we were there , some of us decided to stop by the birthing barn. Oh dear! Talk about a shock of a lifetime – haha! I can’t believe I sat there and watched a calf be born. I’m not…

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The Mind

Rom 12:2  Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.

Just what is this mind that is to be renewed? 

Per Strong’s:

Probably from the base of G1097; the intellect, that is, mind (divine or human; in thought, feeling, or will); by implication meaning: – mind, understanding. Compare G5590.

I did a search on the Greek, and came up with (all verses ESV):

Rom 1:28  And since they did not see fit to acknowledge God, God gave them up to a debased mind to do what ought not to be done.

Rom 7:23  but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members.

Rom 7:25  Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.

Rom 11:34  “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?”

Rom 14:5  One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind.

1Co 1:10  I appeal to you, brothers, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree, and that there be no divisions among you, but that you be united in the same mind and the same judgment.

1Co 2:16  “For who has understood the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?” But we have the mind of Christ.

2Co 7:7  and not only by his coming but also by the comfort with which he was comforted by you, as he told us of your longing, your mourning, your zeal for me, so that I rejoiced still more.

Eph 4:17  Now this I say and testify in the Lord, that you must no longer walk as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their minds.

Eph 4:23  and to be renewed in the spirit of your minds,

Col 2:18  Let no one disqualify you, insisting on asceticism and worship of angels, going on in detail about visions, puffed up without reason by his sensuous mind,

2Th 2:2  not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by a spirit or a spoken word, or a letter seeming to be from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come.

Tit 1:15  To the pure, all things are pure, but to the defiled and unbelieving, nothing is pure; but both their minds and their consciences are defiled.

Rev 17:9  This calls for a mind with wisdom: the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated;

1Ti 6:5  and constant friction among people who are depraved in mind and deprived of the truth, imagining that godliness is a means of gain.

2Ti 3:8  Just as Jannes and Jambres opposed Moses, so these men also oppose the truth, men corrupted in mind and disqualified regarding the faith.

Luk 24:45  Then he opened their minds to understand the Scriptures,

1Co 14:14  For if I pray in a tongue, my spirit prays but my mind is unfruitful.

1Co 14:19  Nevertheless, in church I would rather speak five words with my mind in order to instruct others, than ten thousand words in a tongue.

Php 4:7  And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Interpreted as “understanding”:

Rev 13:18  This calls for wisdom: let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.

Thayer Definition:
1) the mind, comprising alike the faculties of perceiving and understanding and those of feeling, judging, determining
1a) the intellectual faculty, the understanding
1b) reason in the narrower sense, as the capacity for spiritual truth, the higher powers of the soul, the faculty of perceiving divine things, of recognising goodness and of hating evil
1c) the power of considering and judging soberly, calmly and impartially
2) a particular mode of thinking and judging, i.e thoughts, feelings, purposes, desires

So, what does all of this mean?  I don’t completely know, yet, but I hunger and thirst for the renewing of my mind.  It is obvious that the mind is placed in opposition to the flesh, and that the mind of a Christian is controlled and renewed by the Holy Spirit.  The renewing will transform me into the image of Christ (I am to have His mind).  It puts the Christian into a different plane than the fleshly, bestial man who is ruled by his passions.

I put alongside these verses Galatians 5:24, “And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.” It makes me weep to think of how far away from that crucifixion I seem to be! Yet I know that God’s Spirit lives within me, and He will have victory as I allow Him to do the work, the renewing, the teaching, the comforting, the counseling that Jesus promised the Holy Spirit would bring.

Lord, I give myself to you!

Blessings to you all,


A Key to Walking in brokenness

I was reading Galatians 6 this morning, and verse 3 leaped out at me: “For if anyone thinks he is something, when he is nothing, he deceives himself.”

It is in the context of exhorting each other as Christians, bearing each other’s burdens to fulfill the law of Christ, but also follows shortly after a warning to keep watch on yourself that you not fall into temptation while restoring others.

This verse encapsulates something which has been the major factor in rejuvenating my marriage relationship with Marla, and which has been the primary reason I have seen other marriages completely fall apart even after the couples have learned the principles of Openness and Brokenness at a Whatever It Takes! conference.  Now, even seven years after I first came clean with my wife regarding the hidden sin in my life and started on the path to true brokenness, I truly do not consider myself worthy of her forgiveness.  When I do something that triggers an old hurt or memory, or when I see her feeling the pain from my years of infidelity, I never (to the best of my knowledge) respond with, “You said you forgave me years ago – can’t you just forget it?” Instead, I remind myself once again that her pain, her reaction, is rooted in my sin, and that it is only by the grace of God that Marla is still my wife and truly loves me more than ever.  Sin has consequences, and even after forgiveness the consequences continue.  If I had contracted AIDS from a prostitute, I might have received forgiveness, but the consequence would be an ongoing, devastating reminder of my sin.

All too often when I talk to a man who is trying to restore a marriage after either confessing or getting caught in his moral failure I hear something like, “Why can’t she just forgive me?  She keeps bringing it up!”  First off, that’s not a question a man walking in brokenness would ask.  Instead, the broken response is to take responsibility for her pain/anger/depression/whatever, pray with her, and look for ways to love her as Christ loved the church.  Unbroken men have asked me things like, “How much dirt do I need to let her pile on top of me?!?”  My response is, “How much abuse did Jesus Christ allow to be heaped on His head to pay the price for our sins?”  Jesus loved us by taking full responsibility for all of our sins, even though He had done absolutely nothing wrong.  There have been glorious times when I have taken responsibility for a pain point in Marla’s life, and she has actually blessed me by saying, “No, that’s not your fault!”

If you truly want to walk in brokenness, get rid of the idea that you deserve anything other than DEATH! Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.” No one owes you forgiveness – it is a gift by God’s grace.  You can’t demand it, or even expect it. “But,” you say, “the Bible teaches that as a Christian she needs to forgive me, not seven times but seventy times seven times.”  True.  But That’s between your wife and God – if you throw that scripture up in her face, you are taking the place of a holy, perfect God instead of loving her.  If you are truly walking in brokenness, there are very few women who can resist giving you the forgiveness you don’t deserve. Once again, you deserve to suffer the consequences of your sin, you deserve to have your wife leave you to mope about in your miserable, prideful existence, and any kindness or forgiveness you receive should be viewed as a blessing.

I know without a shadow of a doubt that if I were to start expecting Marla to forgive me, and to forget the pain I have caused in her life, that our marriage would cease to exist.  We might still live in the same house, but there would be no marriage.  As an aside, forgiveness does not include forgetting anything. The Bible says that we will be called into account for every idle word we have spoken.  God doesn’t forget anything – He chooses not to remember. So, how much less can my wife forget my sins?

Ponder Galatians 6:3.  Do you think you are something?  A big man (or woman – I speak in biblical terms) who has been gracious enough to dump a load of garbage on his wife by confessing all his hidden sin, then walked away and thought himself open and broken while she suffocates under the pile of junk you dropped on her? If so, and you truly think you deserve forgiveness, and to have all things just put aside, then you are deceiving yourself.  Man up, take responsibility, and realize that you will be dealing with consequences for the rest of your life!  If it is less time than that, then be blessed, but never, ever, expect the consequences to just go away.

May the peace, joy, and love of Christ abound in your life!


A Short Story

Here is a short story from a few months ago, another of my emails.  Hopefully it demonstrates that it is possible to come back from a marriage on the brink of total destruction to having a relationship with my wife where she trusts me, encourages me, and is at peace:

Anyway, I’ve been teaching a class here in Bogotá, Colombia this past week, for those who are new to the list.  My class consists of 7 men and one woman from around Central and South America.  The woman is from El Salvador, a country I visited for a few weeks in ’86, so I am quite familiar with the customs there.

The last day of class, after the exam was over, and everyone was leaving, she came up and gave me the customary “handshake” of El Salvador between a man and a woman which is a kiss on one cheek.  I didn’t think much of it, and my automatic response was the same as it was in ’86.  She kissed all the other guys in the room, too.

That night I sent Marla an email telling her I had to laugh at myself for my still-automatic response.  She didn’t respond, but she was at the WIT women’s conference, so I didn’t expect her to.

The next day, Satan really started in with his whisperings of, “You know, you really shouldn’t have done that.  You know Marla’s upset, and that’s why she’s not responded to your email.  You know you can’t contact her now and ask, or ask her for prayer – that will thoroughly ruin the women’s conference for her…”

I knew it was the enemy, because that’s not the type of conviction the Holy Spirit brings upon me, and not what He says, trying to discourage me from talking to Marla about it.  Since I didn’t have a way to call her at the conference, I sent her an email telling her of the attack I was under.  She texted me back saying, “Stop thinking about it.  No biggie.”  The whisperings of the enemy stopped immediately!

Next day (today) Satan started a different tack.  He started telling me, “Well, sure, Marla said, ‘No biggie’, but she didn’t know what the woman was wearing.  You didn’t give her all the details.  You know you’re supposed to give the details, and you know if you did she’d be really upset…”

So, tonight after Marla got home from the conference, we got on Skype to talk for the first time in over a week, and I gave her the details…how the woman had chosen to wear a shirt that hung way down off one shoulder that day, how I had been avoiding that side of her while teaching and answering her questions about the exam.  Marla basically cut it short to tell me it didn’t matter what the woman was wearing or what she did – she (Marla) is totally at peace with it.  I was then able to turn around and tell Satan, with the authority of Marla’s confirmation, “You are a liar!”  and once again the attack of lies was gone.

Gentlemen, this is a small example of how my openness and my willingness to talk to Marla about anything, no matter how insignificant it may seem to others, has brought her to the point of fully trusting me again.  It’s been a long road, but I praise God for the work He’s done in our lives and our marriage.

Marla is my best friend and my first person to turn to for prayer and counsel.  She’s not an afterthought.  I don’t hit her with every intruding thought, but I definitely go to her as my battle partner when I can’t just dismiss something, and it becomes a fight.

I hope this helps someone.  Pass it around to whomever you like, if you think it will help someone else.

God bless and keep you all!